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World goes gaga over royal couple

entertainment Updated: Apr 30, 2011 14:00 IST
hindustan times

When Prince William and Kate Middletown finally tied the knot Friday morning, the universe welcomed them with mixed reactions - Americans loving it, French moaning, Italians raving about “sexy” bridesmaids, Iranians cursing and astronauts celebrating in space.

Republican America predictably led the charge as the world celebrated the royal wedding with wall-to-wall media coverage and celebrations as far away as Antarctica and even outer space, reports the Daily Mail.

The event drew an estimated two billion television viewers around the world, with many broadcasters scheduling royal-themed programmes all through the day.

Some of the biggest names in US broadcasting, including Barbara Walters, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer, had decamped to London in an operation comparable in scale to a presidential election.

NASA broadcast TV coverage of the royal wedding live to the international space station where the crew watched it and sent a congratulatory message to the couple.

In Antarctica, British scientists battled outside in high winds to toast them at the Halley survey station.

France could have been expected to be more lukewarm, especially given the Sarkozys’ absence from the guest list.

But despite complaints from L’Express newspaper that “not one Frenchie is invited to the wedding of the century”, the Gallic media gave the wedding top billing with all major TV channels providing live coverage.

Union flags and pictures of William and Kate dominated front pages with Le Figaro offering a 79-page supplement entitled “So British”.

In Italy, there was rolling coverage of the wedding both on state and commercial TV, with four channels broadcasting live from London.

In Germany, wedding fans had to take the day off to watch it as employers enforced a strict ban on following it on workplace TVs and computers.

At Tsinghua University in China nearly 200 couples tied the knot at a collective wedding ceremony that coincided with events in London.

However, the joy was not universal.

The Iranian state news channel groused that the “people of this monarchical country” had to pay for the "most expensive" royal wedding in British history at a time of “economic stagnation”.

“The people of this country are forced to work around-the-clock so that princesses can pile up cash,” it added.